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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

C R A S H

watched this movie-CRASH-yesterday. It tells us about poignant racial discrimination in America. It made me a bit scared. :(

Since I was born, I have lived in Indonesia. Fortunately I have indigenous parents (gosh, what is indigenous???) so that I look like many other majority people in Indonesia, having almond-shaped eyes, black hair, dark complexion (I have been getting darker since I loved swimming in 2000), and a Muslim. Never in my life had I experienced racial discrimination coz I belong to the main stream of the majority Indonesian.

Indigenous ...

It reminds me of my time when I was doing a small research to make a paper in the "African American Literature" class in 2003. I got task to analyze poems written by Langston Hughes. I chose three poems of his. Unfortunately I forgot the titles but one poem--Will V-Day be Me Day too? in one of his writing, Hughes protested why he was still treated discriminatively rather than other people (such as those who had ancestors from Denmark or Italy) while in fact he was the fifth generation of his ancestors living in America while those whose ancestors from Denmark and Italy were only the second or third generation. Only coz Hughes had black skin? And those Danish and Italian had similar complexion as the main stream--let's say having English ancestors?

One topic in one book in the English course where I teach is about OUR ANCESTORS. I have tried to make my students "see" that the ancestors of Indonesian people come from some or many places in the world, so that they are not so discriminative toward other ethnic groups in Indonesia. However, oftentimes my students (most of them are high school and college students) look at me weirdly. They easily just see those who have fair complexion with oriental eyes and straight hair as not indigenous. It somewhat gives them "justification" to be a bit discriminative toward them (though I believe it is not as terrible as what is illustrated in CRASH).

It made me wonder if I were born as black people living in America ...
If I were born as Chinese in Indonesia ...
If I were born in a non-Muslim family in Indonesia ...
P.S.: This article is a tribute for my only Abang ...

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